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Bernie
BLU-RAY disk
Aug 9, 2012 By: Stephanie Cooke
Bernie order download
Director:
Richard Linklater

Actors:
Jack Black
Shirley MacLaine
Matthew MacConaughey

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In small-town Texas, the local mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she's alive.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I went into BERNIE not knowing anything about it at all aside from the fact that Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine star in it. I didn't know that it was based on a true story until the credits rolled and they showed pictures of the real Bernie and Marjorie. After sitting through the 99-minute movie, I wish I could give a more in-depth review on the film, but truthfully, almost as soon as BERNIE was over, most of my thoughts on it were gone with it. The film is done in a sort of mockumentary style where various actors and actresses give interviews with their opinions on the whole story. Those little interviews are mixed in with the actual film telling the story of Bernie Tiede and Marjorie Nugent. At first I thought this was going to be an indie romance about a man who falls in love with an older woman, but again, that was prior to me knowing anything about the film other than who was in it. I can't say that this turn of events was much better. The story that the film is based on is certainly interesting, but when it comes down to it, I don't think that it was enough to have an entire feature film dedicated to it. Jack Black does his typical overacting schtick and Shirley MacLaine really doesn't add anything extra to the film for the relatively short period of time that she's in it. BERNIE attempts to be charmingly dark while trying to turn a true story about a murder into a tale of a justifiable crime. For me, the whole thing falls short with most of the blame falling on Black, who is really just not a great actor outside of mindless comedies.
THE EXTRAS
Amazing Grace: It's a behind-the-scenes look at BERNIE. The cast and crew talk about working with one another and their roles in the film.

True Story To Film: The writer discusses how he decided to adapt the story and how he first discovered the story of Bernie Tiede. He talks about the town in which this all took place called Carthage, Texas.

The Gossips: The director talks about East Texas and how the people worked in these small towns. They also show auditions from people in these small towns who wound up getting cast in the film as the people speaking about Bernie and Marjorie.

Deleted Scenes: Your typical reel of scenes cut from the final film. Sometimes I feel like the scenes that were cut really could've added to the film itself, but in this case, none of them really brought anything extra to the table. If you liked the film, it's not a bad set of scenes, but otherwise it's just a bit meh.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Maybe the reason I didn't really enjoy BERNIE was because it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I didn't really know what I was going into at first but what I came out with was far from satisfied. BERNIE is a unique film told with an interesting cast and crew, but for me, it just didn't strike as a particularly memorable story outside of the truth behind it. It's not bad, but for me, this is a film that I would only watch once.
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11:10PM on 08/09/2012

Wow, this review is so off-base!

Man, yours is like the first negative review of the film I've read. (Worth noting it has 90% on RottenTomatoes, but I only found that out after seeing it, loving it, and looking up reviews to see if other people agreed.) First of all, the 'interviews' are not actors and actresses. Most of those interviews are actual townsfolk who knew Bernie Tiede, and a lot of people who knew Tiede and saw Black's performance thought it was spot-on. Black met with Tiede and nailed his mannerisms to a tee. I
Man, yours is like the first negative review of the film I've read. (Worth noting it has 90% on RottenTomatoes, but I only found that out after seeing it, loving it, and looking up reviews to see if other people agreed.) First of all, the 'interviews' are not actors and actresses. Most of those interviews are actual townsfolk who knew Bernie Tiede, and a lot of people who knew Tiede and saw Black's performance thought it was spot-on. Black met with Tiede and nailed his mannerisms to a tee. I can't believe you would casually dismiss it as his usual "overacting shtick" as this performance is probably one of the ONLY times in his career that he hasn't fallen into that trap! I thought his performance was moving, I thought the film's quirky nature was natural and not as cynical as I expected, and the supporting cast (especially McConaughey) was great. Probably one of my 'surprise movies' of 2012 (I didn't see it until this year, even though it played in theaters last year) and something I kept thinking about for days after I saw it. Honestly, your review almost seemed deliberately contrary to the general consensus, but I guess opinions are like assholes to quote Dirty Harry! :P
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+1
2:46AM on 08/10/2012
I can't say that I agree with this review, but have you read the article that the movie's based on called Midnight in the Garden of East Texas? It's a great read.
I can't say that I agree with this review, but have you read the article that the movie's based on called Midnight in the Garden of East Texas? It's a great read.
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12:28AM on 08/14/2012
Strongly disagree with the review. 'Bernie' was a tremendous film created by such a unique creator. Jack Black does a fantastic job at recreating such an interesting individual. Watch this film if you enjoy comedy in the subtle irony.
Strongly disagree with the review. 'Bernie' was a tremendous film created by such a unique creator. Jack Black does a fantastic job at recreating such an interesting individual. Watch this film if you enjoy comedy in the subtle irony.
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